Philips Hue Switch Now Offers Deeper Portfolio of Battery-less Switches at IFA 2018
Philips has been hard at work launching a few new versions of their self-powered, installation-free switches - adding six new partners to their "Friends of Hue" program for a wider selection of styles and aesthetics. And although the U.S. will only see one of these come to fruition (with the rest focused on Europe) the message is still clear - Philips Hue is getting serious about their lighting solutions.
"Our partners in smart switches unite ease of control with design to match your personal taste and style," said Marijn de Jong, Global Product Manager Friends of Hue at Signify. "The partnership program expresses our ongoing commitment to grow the Philips Hue ecosystem with Friends of Hue that enhance the experience of smart lighting in the home."
Technically speaking, the switches are nothing new. They still employ the same method of powering the switches, using the friction of the push to generate the power. And being a completely wireless solution, they can stick to any wall and retro-fit into any build. The secret sauce relies on the new partner relationships to begin working themselves into any home, regardless of decor. Philips was able to show off a handful of their new products at IFA 2018 that had woodgrain, glass, and the classical plastic backdrops to the switches.
However, the switches are being updated with a Zigbee signal, enabling installers (both pro and DIY) to get a little tricky with what devices the switch should talk to. It also enables Apple HomeKit support, allowing Philips to show off a handful of scene setting demos across every switch they had on the show floor. And because the switches are run through that protocol, there should be no latency or strobing effects when turning lights on, off, or dimming. Little tricks like Alexa, Siri, and Google Assistant integrations also give consumers a chance to learn about the power of home control and the capabilities of smart lighting.
The six new partners joining its Friends of Hue program include Busch-Jaeger, a Germany-based company in the ABB group and US-based Illumrajoin a growing band of Friends of Hue control manufacturers to offer consumers a greater variety of Philips Hue-compatible wall switches. Meanwhile, Kichler (USA), MAKRIS by Imoon (Italy), Koizumi (Japan) and John Lewis (UK) join the Friends of Hue program bringing a variety of new luminaires.
“Our new Friends of Hue luminaire partners offer striking designs to complement any indoor space. We all want our homes to look their best and perfecting our interior design is a very personal thing. With this in mind, Philips Hue has expanded its Friends of Hue offering so users can experience more choice and freedom than ever before when it comes to illuminating their homes and enjoying the benefits of connected lighting,” adds Marijn de Jong.